Friday, October 21, 2011

Here's What's Up!

Oh boy, I have no idea how long it has been since I blogged personally, but due to all of the adorableness my kids have been overflowing with recently...I figured it was time for a quick update post :) Facebook just doesn't cut it sometimes, and anyway...I decided to spare you all of the heavy newsfeed clogging. Because certainly, with how silly, smart, adorable, and funny my kids are; I would be posting ALL.DAY.LONG about them :)

The twins are 15 months old now, and Kyle will be 3 in December. And let me tell you, 15 months old was my favorite stage with Kyle, and has proven once again with the babies to STILL be my favorite baby stage. I wish I could just freeze time and keep them 15 months old for about a year. Just to absorb a little more of them during this "phase". And so here I go, with random amusement provided daily by my boys :)

Today Kyle went up Devin and put his arm around him and said "You're my best friend".

Night before last we were doing our usual evening routine, where all 5 of us sit on the living room floor and let the kids mawl us until they get tired enough to go to bed, aaaaAANNNnndddd (sorry, long sentence, I had to take breath) Kyle was naming all of the animals on Diego and I said, "Kyle, how'd you get so smart?" And he said "Cause I love you guys!" with an adorable, handsome, cheeky grin.

Devin and Bryce love to dance. So does Kyle. He still loves the Fresh Beat Band, and always does the dances along with, so I think the babies picked up on that. And now when FBB or Diego comes on (their other fave) they run up to the TV and start spinning in circles and jumping up and down. And, just take my word for it, it's the cutest thing you've ever seen. Well, maybe the second cutest thing. See below.

Devin is a Kisser. He's a little lover. And a cuddler. And my husband says he obviously got that from him, because Duh, they share the same middle name! He voluntarily kisses each and every one of us, at least once a day, if not ten times. He will actually sit, content, on the couch in our lap's. Bryce, not so much...he hits the ground running and doesn't stop until he completely crashes.

Speaking of kissing, THEE cutest thing i've yet to see the twins do, is walk up to each other and directly give each other a big ol' kiss. THAT is the cutest thing ever. Ever. Take my word for this too.

And, speaking of walking...They are both walking now. Bryce started at about 13 months, and Devin at about 14 months. And now they are both running. Bryce runs just like a duck, with his chest out ahead of every other body part. And his arms down at his sides. SO funny.

I bet you've never seen a baby eat like these boys. I'm not kidding. They individually eat more than Kyle every single day. When we serve them up a plate, we serve the same amount for them to split, as we serve ourselves. They prefer veggies over anything else. Except maybe cheese sticks. They aren't big on sweets, HALLELUJAH!. Total opposite from Kyle.

They TALK. And talk and talk and talk. I'm not just talking Mama, and Dada, etc...Bryce is attempting sentences, they've both been putting 2 words together since before they were 1, and they just jabber about and repeat everything. If you ask them a question, and they understand it, they will answer you "uh-huh" (meaning yes) and nod their heads, or say "nah" (meaning no) and nod their heads the other way. They can name almost every body part. Nose, eyes, ears, mouth, teeth, butt, belly button, toes, and yes...they know where their peepee's are. When I change their diapers, they wave their hands in front of their noses and say "pee-you" followed by "Cah-Cah". Tell me your not at least smirking!

They know when its time to go, as they see us getting the essentials ready (diaper bag, sippy cups, purse, vodka, xanax...just kidding on those last two!) and repeatedly say "Bye-Bye" while trying to put their own shoes on.

Bryce thinks he's a lion. Or a bear. Or something. He started doing this thing, like he is trying to scare us. He will peek around the corner, trying to be sneaky, and let out a big "RAAAAWWWRRR" noise. And then when we act scared, he just laughs hysterically. Ahaha, it is quite funny, I don't blame him :)

They sing along to the abc's. And sway their bodies back and forth.

Kyle has learned a lot of spanish lately. Say what you will, it doesn't hurt any kid to learn about other cultures and expand their knowledge. And LEARN. Period.

We decided to keep Kyle out of school for one more year. Pre-school is good enough, he doesn't need pre-pre school. A lot of kids just go straight to K. AND, mostly, I don't want him to be the youngest in his class, and with how his B-Day falls, that would be the case. And that is not cool when you are a boy.

I asked Kyle what we should have for dinner tonight and he said, "Coyote's". Hmmm. Ok, son.

Kyle and I made cookies today. And I of course let him have one. And then two. And then I asked him if he liked them and he said, "Yeah, my tummy's full. I ate 2. It's too much". Hind sight is 20-20 sweetheart.

At some point today, my head count was 1 short and when I realized it was Bryce, I called for him and he came running at top speed down the hallway and around the corner toward me, with both hands up in the air. I swooped him up and said "Can I have a kiss?" Know what he said? " No no!". Haha.

And just so I don't dampen the "up-idy-ness" of this post, I will hold off on sharing all of the insane things that happen all throughout a day in my shoes. Or rather, slippers. Last Christmas's worn out, stinky, raggedy old slippers, to be exact. But that post will be next. And it will probably be borden-line gross. Because that is what you get with 3 little boys. Dirt, poop, grossness, messes, ANXIETY and hairloss, rapid aging...and most prominently among those things, you get more love, laughter, and joy than you ever thought you could experience. So, brace yourself!

Friday, July 1, 2011

1st Birthday

Ahhhhh. How do I even start this post? I'm tearing up already.

One year ago today, I was 3 1/2cm dilated and 37w 2d pregnant with the twins. Going in for another weekly routine check up. Discouraged and stressed that they might never come. Because WHO in the world sits at 3 1/2cm for over a week, with twins, and not on bed rest mind you. I was super active and wrangling an 18 month old all day, and still.....nothing. Anyway, I had to see the on call because my Dr. was on vacation (doesn't it seem like they vacation more than they actually work?). And soooo...I show up at the office where they usually just do ultrasounds, to see the on call midwife. The nurse came in, did the usual blood pressure taking, the 20 questions about your pee, swelling, and contractions asking, and ordered me to "undress from the waist down". So, she left and I did just that. Wrapped their dollar store brand little white sheet around my waist and proceeded to step up onto the table. As the first foot landed on the step, I felt a trickle run down my leg. Ahhh crap, now I just peed myself. And now I have to get down and go clean it up. (That's the state of mind I was in, because you see, when you are full term with slowly start losing control of all basic bodily functions. With bladder control heading up that list, and the ability to stand up and walk more than 5 feet at a time, coming in a close second.) So, where was I?...oh yes, cleaning up the pee. So, I stepped down and more pee? Ok, all dignity has just disappeared ENTIRELY. So as I waddle over to the paper towel dispenser a GUSH of fluid starts running across the floor. OhhhhK! Unless my bladder is the size of a horse's, I do believe my water just broke! Hallelujah!!! (Sidenote, its 2:30pm) Go to the door, peek my head out and ask for help through my, crying-and-laughing-at-the-same-time, voice. So, they come in and check me...dilated to 3 1/2 still, babies heads low. Quick ultrasound to make sure they are still both head down. YES! They were! Call the husband, who on this particular day leaves his phone at home. Frick. Call the work line, someone else answers. Eventually he calls back and I get to tell him that ITS TIME! Call my Dad who is in the area for work. And, get ready to deliver these babies! So they basically tell me to, pack up your toddler and head over to the hospital. Oh, and congratulations. Ummm......       That's, it?  I'm in labor, and I just pack up my 18 month old, still a baby himself, kid and drive myself to the hospital?! This was not what I had seen on TLC's "A Baby Story". But ok, whatever. Go to the hospital and they tell me that all but one of the rooms are full, and that particular one is dirty and needs cleaned. So....AN HOUR AND A HALF LATER I get my irritated, painfully contracting, lard ass into THAT room.

4 PM. And, the most painful labor proceeds to take over my mind, and body. Maintaining OK, they check me and I'm 7cm. Labor getting worse, but I'm dealing. Barely. And then, Mr. Devin must have pushed his feet off his little brother like he was Michael Phelps pushing off the pool wall on the first turn of his Olympic swim race. And I swear he went from -1 station to +3 station in that VERY maneuver! It hurt SO bad, I could never even accurately describe it. It was loud too, I heard it. And that FREAKED me out. I totally went into a hysterical panic attack. There was NO way I could do this for 2 1/2 more centimeters! I was shaking, and crying, and BEGGING for an epidural. They tried to convince me that I was almost there and to try to make it, but at that point...they could all Go.To.Hell. So I got my epidural. And, it ended up being one of those that only work on one side, and then it only worked about 50% on that one side. But there was some relief, and that was huge. I was like 8cm by then. And about 15 minutes later the could see Dev's head coming. So they wheeled me to the O.R., threw my legs in the stirrups and told me to push.

2 push's later, at 7:38 pm, Devin Wayne Karnbach was born.

Weighing 6lbs 7oz

And then they told me that I could push if I wanted to, but I didn't really need to. So I gave a little half push. And at 7:44 pm, Bryce Kayden Karnbach was born.

Weighing 6lbs 1oz

Our boys are both finally here! Big, nice weights for twins, and healthy as could possibly be. And absolutely GORGEOUS!

I'm still in complete shock that it has been a full year since that day. The beginning was So hard, and So rough, and more challenging than anything I have ever done. And probably will ever do. But I can honestly say, IT WAS SO WORTH IT! To say that we are blessed is a huge understatement. Twins are nowhere in either of our families (even if our grandparents might tell you there were, back in 1814 or something - which has no influence on us, these many generations out), and there was no fertility help whatsoever. The chances of twinning, with and without fertility help, is 1 in 250. To have identicals is even less likely, and to be in the 20th percentile of "different sacs, different placentas, but STILL idenicals" group, is very rare. So all factors considered, our chances of winning the lottery probably would have been higher than having what we have with our twins. That is not luck. That is not chance. For some reason, that I have yet to discover or understand, this was part of God's plan for us. And I couldn't be more thankful. We have really learned a lot about ourselves and discovered what we were truly made of through this past year, and it is still a huge challenge. But we will cherish this blessing that is our twin boys, and never stop trying to be the best parents we can possibly be to them. They have changed our world, for the better no doubt, and we could never imagine life without them.


Saturday, June 25, 2011

Friday Confessional

I'm linking up with Twingle Mommy today for Friday Confessionals. You know that scenario when you are chatting with a group of Mom's, and one bravely decides to put all fear aside and admit her faults. And then her own honestly suddenly opens the floor for all of the other Mom's to say, "That aint' nothin'! Guess what I did?!". That's what this is. Sorta. In a blog, virtual, sorta way. we go.

I confess....
Sometimes I let my kids stay in their jammies all day. Sometimes I stay in my jammies all day with them.

I confess....
I still wear maternity shirts sometimes. Sometimes. Not because I still have a terribly chubby baby belly, but because...have you noticed...maternity shirts are longer than regular shirts?! I have a long torso. Ok, I also like that maternity shirts are looser in the tummy area, which accommodates my twins induced muffin top, quite well. I just use the shirts that were like 1st trimester shirts. A little bit longer, and a little bit looser. Perfect.

I confess....
I have rough days here and there, at home with the kids. Yesterday was one of those days, and I was desperate for a 5 minute break from the constant whining, screaming, and pulling at my pants legs. So, with a sassy little attitude, I ripped open the tupperware cupboard, and then the dishwasher, and piled it all in there for them to play with. And it absolutely did, buy me 5 minutes. And then... it took me 15 minutes to clean up the mess. Swell idea!

I confess....
I can write about 100 times better than I can speak. I suppose because there isn't that element of facial expression and listener reaction that I have to witness in person. When you speak to someone in person, you look at them. Unless you are a complete social retard (that's me sometimes too), you watch their reaction. I find that often, people begin to react to what they THINK you are going to say, when in fact you were headed in a complete different direction with your sentence, or story. That changes your course of topic. Or your presentation of it, rather. Which causes you to stutter and stumble mid sentence. Writing frees all of that restriction up. It allows you to write, and therefore speak, however you wish. I much prefer to say what I want to say, and face whatever criticism may come, afterwards. I don't have this same perspective in person, because I don't like confrontation. But, aren't we all bolder behind the keyboard?

I confess....
My twins are going to be 1 a week from today. I'm feeling relieved, anxious, sad, celebratory. As INTENSE as it was the past year, it did go by fast. And its just really hard because they are my last babies, and its both of them. I know we are entering a new season with them, an easier one for sure, but the thought that they are almost no longer babies, saddens me. I've been planning to do a photographic video recalling their first year, but honestly...I am procrastinating because I know that I will be balling the whole way through. My babies are turning ONE!   :(    and    :)

Friday, June 17, 2011

2 1/2 Years

Today is June 17th, 2011. 2 1/2 years to the day, since my first child was born. My firstborn son. Kyle Phillip Karnbach. Born on December 17th, 2008 at 11:06 pm and weighing in at 7lbs 13oz. The day that life as I knew it, changed. My heart, changed. My outlook on life, changed. My whole world, changed. A new love that compares to none other, and cannot be explained to those who have yet to experience it themselves. A gorgeous baby boy, with big blue eyes, strawberry blonde hair, and beautiful ivory skin. My son.

We named him Kyle Phillip. Kyle because we loved the name, and Phillip after my Dad, his Grandpa. My Dad deserved to have a Grandson named after him. A great, honorable, and strong man. So, he was named after his Grandfather. We kept his name a secret until he was born. Here is the video that was taken on the day of his birth, as we announced his name.

Dear Kyle,

You are 2 1/2 years old today my sweet boy. I still want to call you my baby, even though you are such a big boy now, and hardly a baby. But, you will always be my baby. You might get used to me using that referral.

People use that saying "He's all boy" quite freely. But it applies to you, precisely. You are ALL BOY. You would live outside if we let you. Better yet, you would live in the dirt, or the water. Better yet, you would live in mud...the perfect mixture of both water and dirt. You arent content to just drive your trucks around your sandbox, you prefer to strip down completely naked, and plop right in the middle of it all. And then proceed to smother yourself in the dirt and/or sand. Rub it in your hair, on your legs....throw it in the air. At that moment I look at you, and I am convinced that you would not be an ounce happier if you were smack dab in the middle of free-for-all shopping spree at toys-r-us. I makes my heart so happy to see you in that state. Makes me feel like I am doing right by you, as your Mother. You are so awesome mister man!

 The way to your heart is through anything Cars movie. Mater and Lightning McQueen are your best friends. When you do something fast, you do it "fast yike yightning mkeen and mayta"! We can bribe you so easily with anything Cars related. Yes, sometimes we are not above bribery. 

You are so smart. You love to be read to, and ask for books all of the time. You are reciting your ABC's now, and can make it quite a ways through, with a reminder letter here and there. You love to sing the ABC's song with us. And you are learning to count, and doing well with that. 

You are Daddy's sidekick. It makes you feel so important and grown up to be a helper to your Dad. Getting band equipment out together is something you love to do. And you have such a similar passion for music. You are so going to be a great drummer. It amazes me how coordinated you are with playing already. Another special thing you share with him is your love for ice cream. That does not come from your Mother :) When we do allow you to have a special treat like that, you cant wait to share the experience with Dad. You always squish as close as you can to him on the couch, and you guys say "KEEM!" back and forth to each other. Its pure cuteness.

You do great on the potty, but are uncertain if you are ready to committ entirely to ditching the diapers. Its ok at the moment. I know you will let us know when the time is right. By the way, Mater and Lightning McQueen go on the potty. And dont wear diapers. Just sayin'. :)

You are growing and changing and developing, so swiftly that I wonder sometimes if you matured in your sleep. It seems like you wake up the next day, and are saying longer sentences, telling deeper stories, and being more inquisitive about life. There is a greater depth to your love for others. And an eagerness to explore the world more broadly. You inspire me. As you search for and admire bugs in the dirt, and rocks in the flower beds, you remind me to recognize and appreciate the small things. You are my pride and joy, son. I love you more than you will ever know and I am so proud of you. I am grateful, and lucky, and blessed, and proud...To be your Mommy.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

11 Months and Counting!

Well here we are. 11 months since our beautiful twin boys were born. I'm a little bit surprised that we survived, but so incredibly proud of us for doing so! I wouldn't stretch so far as to say we did it gracefully, but we fumbled our way through ok. As insanely difficult and challenging as it was, and...I'm not going to lie, agonizing at times, it still seems like it flew by. I really cant wrap my head around the fact that they will be 1 in 1 month! The birthday party planning is in full swing right now, and its going to be a big blowout! :) We have a LOT to celebrate!

I remember with Kyle, that once the 9 month mark hit, things started getting so fun! And he really started changing much faster. Same goes with the twins. They are at an awesome stage right now.


Dev. Devie-Doo. Dooskie. Debba. Deb-Doo, as Kyle says.

You are our easy going boy. You are pretty independent. You idolize your big brother, and are best friends with your twin brother. You are so silly with your feet. You like to kick them on everything. Your crib, the wall, the couch, US, your brothers, the bathtub. Silly man. You eat like no other, and have tons of chub to show for it. And I LOVE that! Your cheeks are so soft and squishy, and there isn't one instance where I pick you up and don't sneak a big kiss into those squishy cheeks. Twice this month you have drifted to sleep cuddled up with Mommy on the floor, and I will never forget those sweet moments. Being a twin has not allowed you many opportunities for moments like that, so we truly savor them when they happen. You are so tickle-ish! And when you get tickled, you let out a laugh that is terribly contagious. Its priceless! You are a great speed crawler. Especially after Mommy gets you out of the bathtub, and attempts to put a diaper on your chubby butt! And you LOVE the water. I believe we will be spending a whole lot of time outside this summer, wading in pools and playing in sprinklers. Your eyes are oh-so-blue. Gorgeous. Stunning. The ladies will never be able to resist. Just ask your Dad, they came from him. And you have long eyelashes, just like Kyle. And they compliment your blue eyes like you wouldn't believe. You give the best kisses. And on demand now too, which I LOVE. You almost always oblige us when we ask you for a kiss. You give high-5's too! You have 5 teeth as of this moment! 2 bottom, and 3 top. Teething was tough on you, but I believe the worst is behind us now. You've pretty much had it with bottles, and prefer the more mature option of a sippy cup. Free flowing even! You are attempting to use utensils now, which blows me away. So smart. You have a big heart, I can already tell. When your brothers take things from you, it doesn't generally upset you too much. Its like you are ok with it because you want to see them happy. You love to put things on your head, especially hats. I intentionally leave hats all over for you and your brother to find and play with. And I must say, you just look so handsome with a hat! Your hair. Ohhh, I have an obsession with your hair! Especially that spot in the back near the base of your neck. Its long, and light strawberry tinted blonde. So soft. You say Momma so clearly. I love it! You just started saying "Bryce" also, and you say that clearly too. You also say Thank You, uh-oh, no no, and All Done. And there are more, but...I just cant think of every single one at the moment. Your smile is contagious and heart melting. And every time I see you smile, I just think of how innocent and genuine you look.



Bych. Bychie. Byce. Brycie. Wittle Bittie. Handsome Eyes.

You are so full of life, sweet boy. And spunk. I look at Kyle as a toddler, and I see a direct "before and after" connection between you two. You are going to be just as wild and crazy when you are a toddler! You are changing in huge leaps and bounds right now. You are crawling extremely efficient, and are pulling to a stand on everything, including your parents :) You are getting brave, and letting go to see how long you can freely stand before you lose balance and fall down. I see the daredevil in you already, and I am telling you mister man, please don't give me any heart attacks before the age of 30! You are my little Momma's boy :) You get jealous if I am giving attention to your brothers, and cry when I leave the room. I know it will pass way too soon, so I try to enjoy and absorb it. Your eyes are an amazing blue, just like Dev's. And like Kyle's. And like Daddy's. As daring and brave as you are, you have a shy side too. And when you get shy, or embarrassed, you use those blue eyes to make the most "handsome face" I've ever seen! You flutter your eyelashes and wrinkle your little nose, and promptly wrap me around your little finger. You too, LOVE the water. You could play and splash in the bathtub for hours. You are a huge talker! We were blown away when a few weeks ago you started putting 2 words together at a time. And even when we cant decipher the words you are saying, we know that you are talking about something for which you must have passion; because you talk so serious and intently. Like what you are saying is a big deal. I bet, if you get over your shyness, you would be a great public speaker. I bet you would demand the attention of your listeners. Or, at least the attention of your Mommy :) You have a remarkable sense of your surroundings. For example, you always sense when someone is about to leave, because you start waving good-bye before we even say it. You love to try to escape from me whenever I am changing your diaper! And half the time you succeed. Silly boy. You slept through the night, finally, 2 nights ago! 8 - 545. Oh sweetie, I thank you for that. You are completely infatuated with hats. You will be a hat wearer for sure. And whats better, is that you not only love to put them on, but you like to wear them sideways. If we put a hat on you, you immediately grab it and turn it sideways. Such a cool kid. I would name your favorite food if you had one, but you don't. You love anything we put in front of you. You are a fantastic eater, and that makes life way easier for us all. Its funny, that even though you are an identical twin, I look at you and think that you look identical to your Daddy. Its some very subtle features, that probably only your Dad and I notice...but I seriously think that of all 3 of you, you look the most like him. You all do, but you especially have an uncanny resemblance to him. You love to give us kisses! And when you do, you firmly grab each side of our faces and plant a big wet one right on us. It is the sweetest thing!



Monday, May 23, 2011

Miscellany Monday

Figured I would link up with Carissa for a little bit of the randomness that is
Miscellany Monday :)

1. I'm a notepad person. My life is channeled into notes and lists right now. If I saved them, I am sure that 20 years from now they would function perfectly well as old diaries of my life during this CRAZY time. I have 2 going at all times; a personal/home notepad and a business/photography notepad. To-Do lists, goal lists, ideas, reminders. It's the only way I can keep anything straight. Which leads me to another random thing...I am a list person. Nothing gets accomplished without a list. Period. If I don't see it, I forget about it. This applies to calling family and friends, doing laundry, remembering to get dish soap at the store, etc. My mind is so clogged up with just the daily duties of a SAHM (the whole toddler + twins factor), its a wonder my head is even still attached at the end of the day.

2. I FINALLY got my photography business website and blog DONE! I am so happy with it, and proud of myself. It took forever, dabbling 5 minutes here and 10 minutes there, in between diapers changes, feedings, story time....but it is D.O.N.E. Check it out, pretty please :) ---> MANDY KAY PHOTOGRAPHY.

3. I have a self admitted coffee problem. Borderline addiction. Cant function without it. Home brew doesn't cut it anymore. Although, I did recently discover Folgers Black Silk, and OMG its so yummy. Bold and smooth, exactly how they describe it. Its not a replacement, but can hold me over for a minute.

4. This is the longest winter eeevvveeerrr. And that SUCKS. My family needs time in the sun. My kids need to crawl around in grass, and catch grasshoppers. And swim. And pee in the dirt after they are done swimming. (I have boys, what do you expect? I pick my battles.) And I need photo sessions in the gorgeous evening sunlight, that aren't "rescheduled due to rain". And I need to stand on the shore of the lake, and the river, in my shorts....while my hubby teaches our oldest how to fish. I need that. We all need that.

5. My twins are advanced, I'm darn sure. Mentally. Bryce, says 2 words at a time, all the time. "Go Diego, Thank You, No Mom, Duck Quack". You think I'm crazy. That's fine. I know the difference between jabbering and actual phrasing attempts. And he plays catch. I have it on video, so HA! He will throw a ball back and forth with us. They can put balls in bowls or buckets, leggos together, hats on their heads. Ohhh they are so cute, and growing up way too fast. And just under 7 weeks away from being 1 YEAR OLD!

6. More profound blog posts coming soon! :) Even though I haven't been blogging personally much lately, the ideas never stopped flowing. Writing is such a stress reliever for me, and if anyone can benefit from it, if even just for a laugh, then that makes me feel wonderful!

Monday, May 2, 2011

A day with our oldest!

So this last Saturday was just one of those days where everything went smoothly. Can you even imagine that? Well maybe you can, but its hard for us to. With baby twins, and a total of 3 under 2, those types of days are few and far between. I had a photo shoot that day, and it just kind of worked out that my husband and my oldest, Kyle, went with. The twins stayed home with our routine helpers/sitters. It was actually so incredibly refreshing to just have a day with Kyle and ourselves. Not that we don't love the twins to death, and love being together, all 5 of us....but it was nice to be able to completely focus on our oldest for a while. He was only 18 months old when the twins were born. Still a baby himself. We felt like we absorbed every.single.tiny moment with him up until that point. If he burped, we noticed it and made a big deal of it. And of course we didn't mean to, and aren't bad parents because of this, but after we had the twins we stopped noticing every.single.tiny moment. It makes me sad. Because as hard as we try, and even if we spend every second that we aren't changing a baby diaper, or feeding them, or putting them to sleep, or whatever...with Kyle, some details are still lost in the hustle and bustle of things.

I am going to digress for a moment to say this: Parents that decide to wait 3 years before having another, I finally get it. At that point, the rapid growth and development starts to wane with your older child, and so you aren't exactly missing as much when you are knee deep in newborn duties. So half the age of your older child, and double the amount of newborns and you have our little equation. When we decided to try for #2, we purposely planned for them to be close in age. We just had NO idea we would have twins. If we had that little piece of critical information tucked under our hats, we totally would have given it another year or two. That's all. We have no regrets, because you cant plan for the unexpected. But it just makes it hard to swallow the fact that you will just have WAY less time with your precious first born.

Anyway, we took Kyle with us on Saturday and we all had the best time! We went to the photo shoot location like an hour ahead of time to scout certain spots out, and I of course had my camera in hand. So I unexpectedly was able to capture some shots of my endlessly handsome first born. I was also shocked to find that he had finally worked his way out of the "I'm 2 and refuse to look at the camera, or you, and actually will intentionally cringe and make a stink-face when you take your camera out" PHASE. Now, he so adorably sees the camera and smiles and says cheese. I'm so happy about this! Ham. I believe that's the word people use to describe their super cute little boys. So he's my little ham :) People always push how important it is to have adult, couples time with just you and your spouse, away from the kids. And they are 100% right about that. But you also cant forget that it is very important also, to have one on one time with each of your children. Where they feel like the center of attention and can be reminded that you love them individually, and uniquely, separately from their other siblings, who you love in the same special ways. (was that enough commas for one day? Sheesh, sorry!)

He is maturing so much right now. It melts my heart every time he voluntarily walks up to one of us and gives us a hug (usually followed by the statement "bear hug!") and a kiss (usually followed by the statement "bear kiss!") and says "I LuuuuB You Mom/Dad". Yes, he is calling us Mom and Dad mostly now (insert sad face). He is still our most awesome little helper. He loves helping so much that when we ask him to throw away trash, or help unload groceries or whatever, he says "Ok thanks Mom/Dad!" He is learning to count, and his ABC's and colors. He seems to be a very quick learner.

We were in a tough spot with him there for a while, and he isn't completely out of it yet. The terrible two's, I believe its called. Time outs turned into a joke. Spankings did nothing (yes we spanked him. I got my butt paddled as a kid and I was respectful partly because of it. Call me a bad parent if you want. But if you chose to do that, you can promptly shove it.) None of that was working, so I started trying something else. When he misbehaves now, I pretty much say something like this, "Kyle, come here right now, we need to talk". And that's just in an attentive tone, not yelling, or incredibly stern. It gets his attention better than anything else. And then I explain to him that what he did is unacceptable and why, and that he needs to apologize and not do it again. Of course it isn't the magic cure to every single occurrence, but it works more often than not, and better than anything else. I totally get it now, it clicked after I figured it out. Because he has always been what I consider "mature for his age" as much as that applies to a 2 year old. Mentally anyway. And I think he might be a lot like me personality wise. The oldest kid, the one who takes on most responsibility. The mature for their age kid. Anyway, I think this method just works best for him. I don't think it would/will for all kids. If someone told me this before I had kids, my reaction would have been something like this, "Ohhhhh, riiight. Now we are going to negotiate and reason with our children. Oh no, because a spankin' here and there is now considered child abuse. Whatever, "talk" it out with your kids and see how far that gets you.". But, I have been humbled. Do what works, every kid is different.

Back to the day alone with our big boy. The one last thing (I swear) that I just cant leave without mentioning is this: He is completely embracing his role as the child of a photographer. Completely! Throughout my entire photo shoot, he would imitate everything I did. When I would kneel down, and get in all kinds of weird positions, he would kneel right next to me AND hold his hands in front of his face and imitate like he was "clicking" and rotating a camera. It was SO Freakin' Cute!

Ok I'm done! Here are some pics I snapped of him/us throughout the afternoon :)

And of course, we had to end the awesome day with an ice cream cone :)